Carolyn Jane –
Sponsored by the Tanya Light Family
By Tanya Light
My grandfather, Clarence Eller was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD) in 1986. He was 68 years old at the time of diagnosis and had been showing signs for a few years before being tested. We had never heard of HD before he was diagnosed. Grandpa Clarence died in May of 2000 at the age of 82. Our mother, Carolyn, was diagnosed in 1994 after showing signs that we felt were HD symptoms, because they resembled Grandpa’s symptoms. In 1998 mom moved into the Waterford Assisted Living Facility when it became unsafe for her to be at home and needed more help with everyday tasks that we just could not provide for her. In 2001 we moved Mom to Bethany Homes memory care unit to help with her declining health. In 2008, mom passed away at the age of 61. My family had made plans to have Mom’s brain donated to Columbia University to help with the research in finding a cure for HD. I received a phone call and was told that our mother had a very mild case of HD along with a case of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a shock to say the least, but I do find comfort in knowing that the care we gave our mom would have been the same if we had known about the early onset AD. It showed us exactly how these two horrible diseases are so similar and if we can find a cure for one, the other will be close behind.
Carolyn had 5 children and 8 grandchildren. She was an amazing mother, who we miss every day. Mom always put others before herself. Mom loved spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, bike riding and swimming. One of Carolyn’s favorite things to do was watch the sunset on Lake Upsilon, from the porch that her parents built in the 1940’s. My aunt and uncle built a garden on the land overlooking the lake and it is Carolyn’s Garden.
Our home, growing up, was always full of kids, not only my siblings, but our friends. They always felt at home with a full pantry and fridge or just enjoying each other’s company and late night chats. Mom always had a special way to make people feel comfortable and loved.
As a family, we chose to honor the memory of our mom, Carolyn Jane, with giving one of the Harvest Hope sheep that we sponsor, the same beautiful name as our beloved Carolyn Jane. We are honored to be able to help Harvest of Hope Farm with this amazing opportunity in helping to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease.